Coronavirus: Minister Fikile Mbalula announces ban on cruise ships

Coronavirus: Minister Fikile Mbalula announces ban on cruise ships

- Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has expanded on the bans imposed on the industry

- With the coronavirus being brought in with travellers, the minister has issued a ban on leisure vessels entering the country's waters

- Cargo vessels have also been prohibited from changing crews once docked

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Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has discussed the number of measures put into place as South Africa attempts to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Speaking during a media briefing on the changes in regulations, Mbalula explained that cruise ships will be barred from entering the nation's eight seaports:

"In terms of these regulations, no passenger vessels will be allowed in our ports. In essence, there is a total ban on cruise ships. This affects all leisure travelers. With effect from today, no cruise ships will be permitted to call into South African ports, nor will any be allowed to leave our shores."

Cargo vessels will also be barred from changing crews once docked in any of SA's ports:

"The regulations give effect to the prohibition of embarkation and disembarkation of passengers at all the eight seaports. The regulations also prohibit crew changes for all types of vessels, including merchant ships."

Visiting crews have been requested to provide protective gear to local dockworkers in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus.

READ ALSO: Fikile Mbalula provides urgent update on travel ban for South Africans

With 95% of South Africa's trade cargo coming in via sea, Mbalula highlighted the importance of allowing cargo ships to dock:

"Cargo ships will still be allowed to call into our ports to offload and to load cargo. This is to minimise the adverse effects of the virus on our economy and our global trade position." reported that Mbalula recently called on those in the public transport sector to practise good hygiene, revealing that randomised testing would be conducted across the country.

Operators were advised to provide sanitiser to passengers and regularly clean their vehicles.

The Gautrain system has been of particular interest, with a stringent cleaning regime undertaken in a bid to protect those who use it.

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